national tournament comparison

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national tournament comparison

Post by ragnarok2012 »

I am new to this and have not found a previous topic. What is the main difference in questions of NAQT and PACE national tournaments?
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Post by theMoMA »

NAQT is a timed format with more pop culture questions. Questions at NAQT will not be longer than 425 characters.

PACE is untimed, and there are different sections to the format (a 10-question warmup round with related bonuses, 8 question round with tossups and bonuses that you select based on topics, and a 10-question stretch round of tougher tossups and unrelated bonuses). PACE also has bounceback bonuses. As a whole, PACE questions will be longer and more difficult.
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Post by First Chairman »

Is there really such a limit on NAQT tossups? I need to hear more about that eventually.

I'm sure my other colleagues here will also differ with the description of PACE being longer and more difficult. The MATCHES are longer as they will involve a minimum of 28 tossups (compared to around 24 for NAQT rounds on average, though I think their total tossups per packet is still 28, right?).

Difficult however is also in the eye of the beholder. Difficulty for PACE is centered on the depth of knowledge demanded of the participating teams, but our average field scoring has been going up. I think if one were to make adjustments in score to compare NAQT's scores with ours (or conversely), I think we would be comparable in question answerability. In academic fields, I think our "answer spaces" are very similar.

What makes PACE difficult is the tournament format. Teams have to perform every game against comparable and more difficult competition. Championship Sunday has the potential to be the most turbulent day of competition as the top 12 teams are split into two groups of 6 to battle in a single round-robin format. Then we take the Final Four into semifinals/finals in single-elimination format. We also have a Consolation Tournament that many say is among the most challenging mini-tournaments that the teams claim they face all year.

Regardless, we also make sure that our competitors also have enough time and opportunity to meet other students and competitors. We make sure we have a safe and friendly atmosphere that doesn't make the competition feel like a pressure-cooker (more than the students self-impose). As a result, we do keep our field relatively small, but we pick up some of the best teams in the nation along with other teams that want to become some of the best teams in the nation in a few years.

One more thing: we do have a set curriculum consisting of mostly academic questions. We do give a small nod to current events, popular culture, and sports, but it doesn't have as much impact in a regular game compared to NAQT. The only exception is our All-Star Game which is strictly trashy, but you have to qualify to play.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Personally, I (and many of my players) seem to think that PACE is easier...
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Post by pray for elves »

I think NAQT currently has 26 tossups per packet, but I may be wrong. The older IS set (IS-44, I think, without looking it up) we have from running a junior bird several years ago only has 24 tossups per packet, so it hasn't been consistent.
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Post by DumbJaques »

It seems clear to me that PACE actually has a higher conversion for tossups than NAQT does by a statistically significant margin. This is probably due to the fact that NAQT insists on putting in ridiculous questions on obscure country music figures and has several writers who lack the ability to gauge answer selection.

NAQT is a faster-paced game with questions that are slightly shorter than PACE, though both are usually pyramidal at the national level so that's not much of an issue. The biggest difference is the structure (already described) and the distribution. PACE's distribution is far more academic in nature than is NAQT's. NAQT packets could have as much as 40-50% of the tossups comprised of pop culture, sports, geography, current events, and general knowledge (though this is the most extreme it would be, it is rarely less than 20%). PACE has about 1/1 trash and 1/1 geography/current events per round. Proponents of NAQT claim that this distribution increases accessibility, doesn't destroy the academic nature of the game at all, etc. Opponents of this philosophy (of whose numbers I claim membership) pretty much put forth the opposite. NAQT also does not balance the distribution per packet (meaning one packet could have 6 lit questions, another could have 3). Opponents of this approach argue that it is pointless and often leads to inconsistent results. Proponents of it argue. . . I'm actually not really sure since I've never heard an argument for doing this.

Basically, both formats are pyramidal, neither is rigged, and both are pretty legitimate, which can't be said of all quizbowl national championships. If you can go to both I'd recommend doing that, since they're both worth going to, but there is a definite stylistic difference.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

From my experience with the questions, I think PACE questions are more difficult. Tossup conversion is not an accurate measurement of how easy the questions are, because PACE generally has a stronger field, and NAQT uses power matching. When you have a bunch of matches involving teams that are 0-6 facing off against each other, you're going to get poor tossup conversion. (The fact that you also have some 6-0 teams facing off doesn't fully compensate, since they can only get slightly above the average conversion rate of 75-80% or whatever it is.)

When we practice with PACE questions, our lit guy gets all the lit, our science guy gets all the science, and our history guy gets all the history. That doesn't happen as much with NAQT questions, which contain more pop culture and interdisciplinary references. If you show up at PACE without good specialists in those three areas (or generalists who are truly outstanding), you're going to lose several matches. Some fine arts is important too. If you show up at NAQT with a serious flaw, you've still got a decent chance to make the playoffs.

I don't mean this as a knock on either tournament, both of which I recommend very highly. And to mitigate some of what I said about PACE, my team showed up there four years ago without national experience and made the playoffs, which is something we were very proud of. I would not tell a team to avoid PACE because it is too hard, but I would tell them to try out the questions and hit the books if they want to be competitive there.
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Post by cvdwightw »

Both tournaments are pretty valid nationally. The main difference is that NAQT tends to draw a much larger and more diverse field. Therefore among the 200-ish teams at HSNCT there will be both the South Dakota B teams that can't answer most of the HSNCT questions and the teams that come out of more-or-less nowhere to destroy good teams, whereas the PACE field has usually about 30-50 of what have proven themselves to be among the strongest teams in the country.

I think, comparing academic questions to academic questions, the difficulty levels of both tournaments are roughly equal. Most of the stuff that doesn't get converted at NAQT are poor trash questions. The NAQT distribution is also difficult to figure out, whereas the PACE questions will have a precise formula of what categories will show up in their three rounds of each game with what frequency.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

NAQT HSNCT:

37% of available points converted
72% of tossups converted
45% of available bonus points converted

PACE NSC:

56% of available points converted
79% of tossups converted
55% of available bonus points converted
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Post by ragnarok2012 »

Wait, PACE is invitation, but they take less teams than NAQT? or are the playoffs more selective?
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Post by cvdwightw »

Generally, I think part of it is that there are a whole lot of NAQT-affiliated tournaments in much more of the country. PACE-affiliated tournaments are mostly in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest with a few in other regions. Both take about the same number of teams to the playoffs, though.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Last year, 61 out of 160 teams made the playoffs at NAQT. 12 out of 36 teams made the playoffs at PACE. For many years, NAQT was much smaller, but it has had huge growth the past three years. Their growth likely is due to the fact that they write many sets of questions used at many tournaments throughout the year. Recently, a lot of teams that have done well at local tournaments using NAQT questions have decided to try their national tournament. Until recently, PACE only produced questions for their national tournament, but they did produce an extra set last year.
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Post by First Chairman »

ragnarok2012 wrote:Wait, PACE is invitation, but they take less teams than NAQT? or are the playoffs more selective?
Previous post discusses playoffs.

Actually, PACE is a network. I consider anyone who requests entry from anywhere. I would prefer seeing a track record or demonstrated dedication or interest in any request, but I have seldom turned anyone down. If the schools from South Dakota felt they could compete at PACE, I would welcome a request for an at-large bid if the bid request were sincere. I refer to all my previous posts in this thread to articulate the criteria we seek in teams that participate at the NSC. But we do have caveats and limits on the field (usually no more than 2 teams per school; can fill a third team if there is space or a rationale to enter a third team).
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Post by PaladinQB »

Matt Weiner wrote:NAQT HSNCT:

37% of available points converted
72% of tossups converted
45% of available bonus points converted

PACE NSC:

56% of available points converted
79% of tossups converted
55% of available bonus points converted
Matt:

Do the figures for PACE bonus conversion include bouncebacks?
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Post by ragnarok2012 »

36 is much less than 160. that tough huh?
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Post by ragnarok2012 »

how does PACE raise enough money?
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Post by DumbJaques »

36 is much less than 160. that tough huh?
I think that's more a testament to the fact that NAQT has much higher product recognition (since it runs numerous regular season tournaments whereas PACE does not), and the fact that some PACE locations have been kind of poorly chosen in my opinion. Nobody is turned away from PACE or anything, and I'm sure most of the teams from NAQT nationals would perform just fine on PACE (certainly no worse than they performed on NAQT).
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Post by First Chairman »

Well, we have gone where we have been supported in the past. We will see if anyone wants to run the NSC in the future or if we wind up with a permanent venue.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

PaladinQB wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:NAQT HSNCT:

37% of available points converted
72% of tossups converted
45% of available bonus points converted

PACE NSC:

56% of available points converted
79% of tossups converted
55% of available bonus points converted
Matt:

Do the figures for PACE bonus conversion include bouncebacks?
Yeah, those figures seem a little misleading. How could 56% of available points be converted at PACE when only 80% of the tossups were converted and from there only 55% of bonus points were converted? Shouldn't it be more like 42.5%? Also, since NAQT has powers and PACE does not, it seems like this would probably skew the data.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

PACE kinda has powers, though they are more along the lines of Ryan Westbrook's "superpower" since the last 10 tossups are worth 20 points until the FTP. Although this probably doesn't exactly correct any errors in stas between the two.
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Post by DumbJaques »

Yeah, those figures seem a little misleading. How could 56% of available points be converted at PACE when only 80% of the tossups were converted and from there only 55% of bonus points were converted? Shouldn't it be more like 42.5%? Also, since NAQT has powers and PACE does not, it seems like this would probably skew the data.
No, I don't think you're right about this. Say you've got an 800 point game (20/20). 80% of tossups (16) are converted, that's 160 points. Both teams combined succeed in answering 55% of available bonus points, or 330. This results in 490 pts, which is just over 60%. Perhaps you think the stats mean that was the average percentage of earned points on bonuses, but since it's labeled "available bonus points converted," makes sense that way, and doesn't make sense your way, I don't think that's what it means.

Also, I see no reason why powers would skew the data. NAQT games of 26 questions have 130 points available through power. PACE rounds have 100. Not much of a skew.
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Post by kCobain911 »

This might sound kind of weird, but could someone post a PACE question online?
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Post by Matt Weiner »

kCobain911 wrote:This might sound kind of weird, but could someone post a PACE question online?
Here is a whole round from the 2006 NSC:

http://www.pace-nsc.org/pacensc2006-round01.pdf

Since then, we've standardized length further (no tossup is more than six lines now) and there have been some minor distribution changes, but what you see there is still fairly accurate.
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Post by kCobain911 »

thank you.
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Post by TheCzarMan »

Matt Weiner wrote:
kCobain911 wrote:This might sound kind of weird, but could someone post a PACE question online?
Here is a whole round from the 2006 NSC:

http://www.pace-nsc.org/pacensc2006-round01.pdf

Since then, we've standardized length further (no tossup is more than six lines now) and there have been some minor distribution changes, but what you see there is still fairly accurate.
Would it be possible to request more packets? I'd LOVE to use these questions in practice to help make my team better and since we have gone through every NAQT packet and random Jeopardy tournament packet we have.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by Matt Weiner »

You get all past NSCs (1998-2007) for free in electronic form when you register for this year's tournament.
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Matt Weiner wrote:You get all past NSCs (1998-2007) for free in electronic form when you register for this year's tournament.
I would register if I was confident my team could compete. Until I FINALLY (almost 7 months into the school year!) see them the 8th at NJ States, I cannot morally register for a national competition when I'm the only player on the team anywhere near competing nationally (Along with my math and science player).
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

What does that mean?
Also, if you want more practice material go to the Stanford Archive, High School Packet Archive, and ACF Packet Archive.
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Re: national tournament comparison

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Athena Starwoman wrote:What does that mean?
Also, if you want more practice material go to the Stanford Archive, High School Packet Archive, and ACF Packet Archive.
Thank you very much for the link.

And what I mean is, I'm not going to bring a team like mine atm to a tournament like PACE where I know we'll lose out on our rounds and probably be dominated by superior competition.
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Re: national tournament comparison

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Would it be possible to request more packets? I'd LOVE to use these questions in practice to help make my team better and since we have gone through every NAQT packet and random Jeopardy tournament packet we have.
I will also sell you the happiest, smiliest practice questions anywhere if you check out the website in my profile.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by TheCzarMan »

DumbJaques wrote:
Would it be possible to request more packets? I'd LOVE to use these questions in practice to help make my team better and since we have gone through every NAQT packet and random Jeopardy tournament packet we have.
I will also sell you the happiest, smiliest practice questions anywhere if you check out the website in my profile.
I like and will try out the sample packet tomorrow in practice. I'll also look to these packets for our in house competition next year.
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Re: national tournament comparison

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TheCzarMan wrote:
Athena Starwoman wrote:What does that mean?
Also, if you want more practice material go to the Stanford Archive, High School Packet Archive, and ACF Packet Archive.
Thank you very much for the link.

And what I mean is, I'm not going to bring a team like mine atm to a tournament like PACE where I know we'll lose out on our rounds and probably be dominated by superior competition.
I'll defer to Lee about answering your fears. I do think that over the past years though, the teams that register for the NSC have come very prepared. Sure, there is going to be some competition that could overwhelm even some decent freshman/sophomore college teams, but it is an experience where you want to see some of the best teams play each other as well (if possible). We also will be changing our tournament format to accommodate more games for everyone provided we get to 48 teams in the field.

If you wanted the past questions, I can give you all but 2007 on request (if I haven't done so already). The 2007 gets released to all NSC registrants by May 1, though it may be earlier, given that our tournament is scheduled much earlier this year than our "normal" date of Father's Day.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by TheCzarMan »

Pin-tailed Manakin wrote:
TheCzarMan wrote:
Athena Starwoman wrote:What does that mean?
Also, if you want more practice material go to the Stanford Archive, High School Packet Archive, and ACF Packet Archive.
Thank you very much for the link.

And what I mean is, I'm not going to bring a team like mine atm to a tournament like PACE where I know we'll lose out on our rounds and probably be dominated by superior competition.
I'll defer to Lee about answering your fears. I do think that over the past years though, the teams that register for the NSC have come very prepared. Sure, there is going to be some competition that could overwhelm even some decent freshman/sophomore college teams, but it is an experience where you want to see some of the best teams play each other as well (if possible). We also will be changing our tournament format to accommodate more games for everyone provided we get to 48 teams in the field.

If you wanted the past questions, I can give you all but 2007 on request (if I haven't done so already). The 2007 gets released to all NSC registrants by May 1, though it may be earlier, given that our tournament is scheduled much earlier this year than our "normal" date of Father's Day.
I would greatly appreciate this very much. As I said, after judging my teams performance at Rutgers and hopefully Bergen Acadmies, I'll make the decision on whether to come to NSC. If theres enough room, I'll probably push my advisor to apply for NSC. (I'm looking for a playoff performance hopefully).
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by First Chairman »

I am trying to figure out why I can't find your email address... or how come you can't find mine.

e t c h u c k @ p a c e - n s c . org

Please make the case with your advisor... we have consistently been the best top-to-bottom field of any national.
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Re: national tournament comparison

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Pin-tailed Manakin wrote:I am trying to figure out why I can't find your email address... or how come you can't find mine.

e t c h u c k @ p a c e - n s c . org

Please make the case with your advisor... we have consistently been the best top-to-bottom field of any national.
Sent an email. And its not really about making a case with her, its about knowing whether my team can compete or not at this competition.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by First Chairman »

I would fathom to guess that if you think they can compete at NAQT, they can compete at PACE.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by krazydragon »

I've heard that NAQT never has repeats of the same information from previous nationals.

For example, if the Temple of Artemis comes up in a question from previous years, it won't show up in the current year nationals.

Is that true?
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by BuzzerZen »

krazydragon wrote:I've heard that NAQT never has repeats of the same information from previous nationals.

For example, if the Temple of Artemis comes up in a question from previous years, it won't show up in the current year nationals.

Is that true?
I'm 99% sure that this is not the case, but I can't produce a specific counterexample at the moment. Though hopefully the V-Smile won't be coming up again.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by AKKOLADE »

I have not heard of this rule either. I'd like to think if it existed I would have caught talk about it by now, but then again I've been shocked by my ignorance before (read: every day).
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by First Chairman »

Not speaking for anyone in particular...

"never" seems impractical. I'm sure that some of the pop culture items might 'never' come up again, but in agreeing with previous statements, I have not seen any pronouncement. Even with PACE, we never say we "never" cover areas we have written about before.
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I actually can tell you for certain this is not true, as I managed to get some powers last year just from listening to the previous nationals podcasts. I'm not sure who told you that but they're wrong, not to mention that if they didn't repeat information in 20 or more games for 10 years in a row they would probably have driven out their customers as the material they would be asking would be insanely hard.
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Ugly
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by Ugly »

BuzzerZen wrote:
krazydragon wrote:I've heard that NAQT never has repeats of the same information from previous nationals.

For example, if the Temple of Artemis comes up in a question from previous years, it won't show up in the current year nationals.

Is that true?
I'm 99% sure that this is not the case, but I can't produce a specific counterexample at the moment. Though hopefully the V-Smile won't be coming up again.
The V-Smile was my shining moment in 2006. I hope it comes up. :grin:
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BuzzerZen
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by BuzzerZen »

Ugly wrote:The V-Smile was my shining moment in 2006. I hope it comes up. :grin:
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btressler
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by btressler »

krazydragon wrote:I've heard that NAQT never has repeats of the same information from previous nationals.

For example, if the Temple of Artemis comes up in a question from previous years, it won't show up in the current year nationals.

Is that true?
I believe either '03 or '04 we had a bonus where the answers were Duodenum, Jejunum, Ileum. Then in '07 we again had a bonus with the same answers.

I remember this because it showed up in the Friday night practice rounds, and then again in round 11 of 2007.

I suspect that banning all previous topics could make it difficult to write 25 new rounds.
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Matt Weiner
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Re: national tournament comparison

Post by Matt Weiner »

Hey, I'm bumping this old thread to make sure the people reading it know that all PACE NSCs (1998-2008) are now available for free to anyone who wants to view them, at the bottom of http://quizbowlpackets.com/ .
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